Happy Birthday, Mr. President!
President Barack Obama turns 50 today! And he got serenaded by a movie star songbird. Wait … that part sounds familiar.
On May 19, 1962, President John F. Kennedy celebrated his 45th birthday at NYC’s Madison Square Garden with 15,000 of his closest friends. Many celebrities were in attendance at the celebration, including Marilyn Monroe, who … um … might have known the president pretty well (according to some people).
Wearing a sheer, rhinestone-studded dress (which sold at auction in 1999 for $1.26 million), Monroe’s take on “Happy Birthday” was a sultry showstopper. After the performance, President Kennedy told the crowd, “I can now retire from politics after having had Happy Birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.”
Jennifer Hudson’s performance for Obama was markedly less scandalous. Wearing a short black dress, the Oscar-winning actress took the stage in Chicago at a fundraising event. (Wait … Obama held a fundraiser on his birthday? This guy’s all business! Someone get him a cigarette or something.) We suppose she did sex things up a little bit by standing next to fire-tempered silver fox Rahm Emanuel to lead the sing-a-long. But that’s it. Nothing crazy here. As usual, things were dignified and professional. (Boring!)
Compare Monroe’s famous serenade of Kennedy to Hudson’s group sing for Obama after the jump. Read More...
It's no secret that some of the performances on "American Idol" elimination shows are pre-taped. And, most of the time, you can't really tell because of all the flashing lights and carefully choreographed camerawork.
Except last night, when returning "Idol" finalist Jennifer Hudson ripped a hole in the show's space-time continuum by forgetting to pretend she was in the present and speaking about a future that had already happened in the past. Confused? Let us explain.
See, Hudson — who was unceremoniously dumped from the third season of "Idol" in seventh place — reportedly taped her performance of "If This Isn't Love" several weeks ago, around the time she was slated to begin her tour with Robin Thicke. But when host Ryan Seacrest asked her about her first road trip on "Wednesday night," Hudson stammered, saying, "Yeah, starting my tour." Then, looking a bit confused, she added, "Yeah, it's starting, like, in a little bit, yeah, on tour with Robin, so that's very exciting and it's my first tour." Read More...
The crowd at Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church on the South Side of Chicago spilled out into the streets on Sunday as thousands of mourners gathered to pay tribute to Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew. Hudson did not attend the memorial — a private funeral is scheduled today — but her cousin told E! News that the Oscar-winning actress/singer will likely take time off from acting to be with her family.
Read more about the Hudson memorial service here.
Police continue to piece together the timeline in the murders of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew, Julian King. On Thursday, a police source said officials believe that King was not killed along with his grandmother and uncle at their South Side Chicago home, but in the SUV where he was found on Monday. Police are still not saying when they believe the child was murdered. The Hudson family has set up a foundation for the families of murder victims and their families.
Read the latest news on the Hudson murders here.
As police continue to gather evidence in the murders of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew, new reports suggest that investigators believe another person may have been involved in the slayings. Officials are trying to figure out how the car driven by the only person in custody in the case, William Balfour, ended up a mile from the initial murder scene given that they believe the suspect drove a different car to his girlfriend's house on the day of the murders. Corrections authorities have also set up a hearing next month to determine whether Balfour violated his parole for a 1999 attempted murder conviction by missing anger-management and substance-abuse classes.
Read more on the ongoing investigation of the Hudson murders here.
By Christina Garibaldi and Jocelyn Vena
To her, he's just David.
But to the rest of the world, Jennifer Hudson's fiancé is, of course, "Punk" — a.k.a. David Otunga, the former "I Love New York 2" contestant.
Many were surprised when the pair's engagement was announced last month. After all, it's not often you see a contestant from such a show getting hitched to an Oscar-winning actress. However, Hudson is keeping the whole thing in perspective. "I don't think it's fair to judge someone off an experience [like the show]," she told MTV News.
Then again, you might not know that he graduated from Harvard Law School (just like Barack Obama) either — and "American Idol," of course, is a reality show too.
By Christina Garibaldi and Tim Kash
Yesterday, Tim Kash had the pleasure of talking with Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson about her long-awaited self-titled debut LP. Hudson spoke candidly about the challenges of creating the album, which she described as a personal and intimate disc filled with power ballads and hip-hop tracks. But at the start of the interview, when Tim brought up the song "Pocketbook," he ended up confusing Hudson, not to mention the other women in the room. In the song, Hudson sings, "Don't make me hit you with my pocketbook," to a man who's trying to pick her up. So naturally Tim asked Hudson whether she'd actually done such a thing, saying that it would really hurt to be hit with a laptop. Hold up — a laptop? Clearly Tim is not up on his fashion, but let's give him a chance to defend himself.
She: Oscar-winning singer/actress whose self-titled debut album is due out later this month.
He: Z-list reality star (and Harvard Law grad) known as "Punk" (a.k.a. David Otunga) during his stint on VH1's "I Love New York 2." He was one of four "mama's boys" selected by New York's mother.
They: Got engaged on Friday night in Los Angeles on Hudson's 27th birthday, according to "Access Hollywood." Congratulations, kids.
It's only taken her four years and an Oscar, but ex-"Idol" Jennifer Hudson is finally putting out her own record this September. (Seriously, think about it. Even Jon Peter Lewis convinced someone to release his album.) My West Coast colleague Yasmine recently visited the set of J-Hud's music video for "Spotlight" (so jealous!) and during their interview, Hudson dropped this bomb: She doesn't have an album title yet!
So, being a die-hard J-Hud fan since her first "Idol" appearance, I feel it's my duty to suggest a few album titles for the full-figured diva.
1. Always Surprised — Anyone who enjoyed the Hud on "Idol" will smile at that suggestion. Part of her charm was the fact that no matter what was going on in the show, a cutaway to Jennifer Hudson always resulted in unintentional hilarity. The girl always looked like she had just won the lottery.